Fortuné Chalumeau & Bernard Brochier

The Chiasognathinae of The Andes

Taita Publishers, 2007

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The purpose of this book is ambitious. First of all it is to provide a practical tool for the determination of all the surveyed species within an accurate taxonomical framework. In order to do this, the authors visited South America many times, with the aim of collecting specimens, and making ecological and faunistic observations. Apart from having had the assistance of well-known specialists, they have consulted the collections of the most important national museums (with their precious types) and those of many private individuals. Finally, with the faunistic framework created, one of the most important aspects of this work was tackled: the biogeography of the group from a worldwide perspective. 
 
The reader will no doubt appreciate the complexity of the subject-matter, given the scale of the studied area! Establishing distribution maps may be a relatively easy task, but it is far more difficult to answer questions such as the following: how does one trace the populations across the Andes, and explain the causes of subsequent vicariance in the Chiasognathinae? What conclusions can be drawn? In other words: what are the factors linked to the presence (today or in the past) of the taxa -- including the "exotic" species, i.e. those in Australia, and the one found in Europe? Where did all these fauna originate, and how did they survive and multiply? So, apart from examining tectonic factors and the geography of the areas covered, and using a floristic approach (and one concerned with other biota), the authors have been obliged to look at the main stages in the history of the earth's crust, continental drift, and subsequent developments. The result is a work whose language is sometimes complex, but always clear and concise, which is enhanced by plentiful illustrations created by talented professional artists. 
 
This book, a classic taxonomic study and an ecological approach to biogeography, is intended for professional and amateur entomologists alike, as well as bio-geographers, but also for all those who are passionate about Nature and wish to discover more about this exceptional region known as the American Andes. They will find here a rich source of information and escapist pleasure. 
 
Size 245 x 290 mm, beautiful hard cover, 324 full color pages, 279 figures (photos and drawings of the insects), 25 maps, 43 color plates. Published in English and French version!